You’re Not Thinking Straight
Written and Directed by Luke Sullivan
Produced by Giovanni De Santolo and Luke Sullivan
Starring George Ronsin, Sage Godrei, Ali Aitken, Jean-Pierre Yerma, Amma Dalton and Aldo Fedato.
“Eerie, atmospheric and often unsettling. A bold and daring debut for director Luke Sullivan.”
You’re Not Thinking Straight follows Zack (George Ronsin), a nineteen-year-old whose life hasn’t been to kind to him. He’s been made homeless after his disturbed mother boots him to curb in a rather senseless effort to make him a man. It’s on the streets where he meets Elly (Sage Godrei) a prostitute whose only love in life is the contents of her hip flask.
When Zack moves in with Elly, he begins to fall for her with horrifying consequences. Think Leaving Las Vagas with the genders of the two leads reversed.
Zack’s heartbreaking story is told though a series of flashbacks from a grotty toilet cubical. Director Luke Sullivan has chosen – rather adventurously – to film the present in gritty black and white (which we don’t see enough of in Australian films), while Zack’s memories are shot in beautiful colour. The entire film is eerie, atmospheric and often unsettling – anxiety levels are raised when Zack smokes crack, given to him by a complete stranger. The longer Zack is in the cubical for and the higher he gets, the more sinister his story and memories of Elly become.
The performances from the two leads are solid, especially Godrei’s who has a little more experience in front of the camera following appearances in a handful of shorts and an episode of Neighbours. Her performance is devastating and perhaps the most gut-wrenching thing about the film. It’s a very heavy and very disturbing piece of Australian storytelling with very little light at the end of the tunnel.
You’re Not Thinking Straight was shot on a micro-budget and Sullivan deserves all the kudos he receives for this, but unfortunately it feels like the director is holding back a little with the film lacking any serious emotional punches to the gut. It’s hard to feel for the two main characters because their backstories aren’t fleshed out which I’m sure is due to the budget restrictions.
Sullivan is a filmmaker years ahead of his age. You’re Not Thinking Straight is a bold and daring debut for a twenty-one-year-old, whose style and themes are reminiscent of American filmmaker Paul Schrader whose first screenplay was filmed when he was twenty eight. That says a lot about Sullivan’s future which will be worth keeping a very keen eye on.
by Matthew Eeles